Gear Up » Other Financial Aid Resources

Other Financial Aid Resources

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) 
CFNC is a free service provided by the state of North Carolina which promotes access to higher education and assists students with education planning, career planning, and applying and paying for college. 
Once you create an account, you can learn more about financial aid and the college application process, research institutions, and search for scholarships that apply to you! 
Other Scholarship Search Databases
CFNC has a great database for searching through scholarships, but there are others!  Check out these options:
Understanding Your Financial Aid Award
Award letters can be confusing.  Check out these resources to help you understand the financial assistance that you are being offered.  If you still have questions, be sure to speak with your guidance counselors or Gear Up Coordinator.
Use this guide to help you understand the types of aid listed in your award letter.
If you'd like to do more reading on the subject, here are a couple of articles that might be helpful.
  1. U.S. News: How to Read Your Award Letter
  2. College Avenue: How to Read Your Award Letter
Understanding Student Loans
Loan Types
  • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, or professional students, but eligibility is not tied to financial need.
  • Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.  Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.
Check out this summary of Federal Student Loan Programs for a direct comparison of loan types and the amounts that can be awarded through each.
Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Federal Loans